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First Kiss

By Todd Davis Poetry

She spoke with the voice of an egret, skin swirled with the smell of rabbit tobacco. He hid in honeysuckle to watch her catch dragonflies, blue-green matchsticks with wings glistening like wax paper. Mamaw called them snake doctors, claimed they’d follow all manner of slithering, stitch them back together when they were riven by a…

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Prayer

By John Poch Poetry

Invisible One, when I close my eyes I can see you in another way like part of a Pollock I can make sense of not because I see a figure or a face but because the love of a moving brush slung over wet gesso tired of a life of air proves much. Things are…

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Longsuffering

By John Poch Poetry

The prisoner wants the only window’s horizontal iron bars to rust, the raindrops strung before the gray day after rain, these unspendable coins purchasing light and air, these upside-down opals lined up like the pure eyes of guards who have never witnessed battle. The sun comes through, and his mind drifts to some painter studying,…

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Altarpiece

By Amit Majmudar Poetry

I flash back to you sometimes in your bassinet, your diaper and knit cap, your loincloth and thorn crown. Breastbone split with a chisel, your heart’s hinge is a teak diptych, the altarpiece of my conversion into father. You bore the needlestick stigmata on the backs of your hands, and later, when the veins blew,…

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The Priesthood of Pediatric Heart Surgeons

By Amit Majmudar Poetry

Before your birth, a priest once laid his ear against your mother’s stomach and heard your heart murmur rumors of an earthquake. The day you were born, the same priest laid his hand against your breastbone, reshaped you, son, and cut a passage through the Red Sea of your blood, not breathing life’s breath into…

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The Smithsonian Museum of Supernatural History

By Amit Majmudar Poetry

To your left, you will see what appear to be nuggets of charcoal, but in fact, they’re considerably rarer than lunar rocks. This glass case is airtight and soundproof. Contain them in anything less, and the screams in these hell stones (think of the waves in a conch shell you hold to your ear) would…

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Negative

By Michael Shewmaker Poetry

Quechula Church, 28 August 2002, 35mm I. Its sun-dark arches mirror in the black receding water. The white mountains rise behind the exposed church. Only a week before, its stones were hidden, covered with the Grijalva River. Swallowed by the wide mouth of the arch that was the door, I walk away from you, shin-deep,…

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Kneeling Angel

By Keith Ratzlaff Poetry

after Paul Klee Under a sky like this, under the weight of your gravity, my robe, my head, my heart pulled down. O Lord, you have fashioned stars and portcullises, one-eyed dogs, conjured the terrible, endless plains where I grew up; and conjured time which does not pass here, and eternity, which does— groaning out…

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Angel Crying

By Keith Ratzlaff Poetry

after Paul Klee I thought I heard someone crying— but it was me making that low noise like a radio under a blanket in a drawer in the far wing of heaven. My own crying disguised the way paper goes disguised as origami or the backs of photographs. The lesson today was Logos, God saying…

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